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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    October 5, 2012
    1:00 - 2:00pm EDT  

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>> today's news certainly is not an excuse to talk down the economy to score a few political points. it's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now. >> the reason it's come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work. >> fresh from his successful debate performance, mitt romney tries to clean up his 47% blunder. >> now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right and in this case i said something that's just completely wrong and i absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that i care about 100%. >> plus, late night's take on the mile-high debate. >> there is no red america, there is no blue america, there is only the america that can't believe how bad this guy did in the debate. romney won with the sound off.
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dude, he's yelling at you, look up! look up! what are you looking at, writing that's so important -- oh, that's nice. i didn't realize. that is impressive work. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. >> romney will come across as empathetic. but here's what mitt's been promising for the last two years. tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. how do you make that seem warm and fuzzy? well you just need to shake it up as hard as mitt did last night. so, let's give it a shot. okay. here we go.
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>> a little magic there. good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington today. the white house got some welcome news. a september jobs report with the unemployment number now down to 7.8%, the lowest rate since the president took office, first time below 8%. joining me for the daily fix, chris cizilla, msnbc contributor and managing editor of post-politics.com. the president out on the stump trying to make the best of it, these numbers can bounce around. we'll drill down on the economic facts and figures in a moment, but basically this is a good news. >> yeah. look, good news from the country in that the unemployment rate went down and i would say good news politically for president obama because now the talking point that republicans have used effectively for quite some time to say, you know, 42 straight months of an unemployment over 8%, unemployment had been over 8% every month since barack obama took office, they no longer can say that. to your point it didn't drop to 4%, it's still 7.8%. i would say if you ask barack obama on the day he took office
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if he -- if he thought unemployment at 7.8% would be okay in the month before he needed to run for re-election, he would not be happy with that number, but it's about the trend line, the trend line suggests and again, one month is not determinative but suggests that perhaps things are the economy is strengthening a little bit. that's the argument obama needs. he needs data points to say it's not perfect, i know that, not everything i've done is perfect to fix it, but it's slowly but surely a lurching toward getting better. >> the republicans will focus on the slowly part of that, only 114,000 new jobs added, anemic by any measure and the overall growth of the economy is still bouncing around at 1.9%, still pretty slow. talk about the other big revision today because last night on fox, mitt romney made his latest comments on 47%. it's taken him three weeks to get there. now he's saying he was completely wrong. >> yeah, andrea, i would say his
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comments, remember on september 18th, i think it was, when he came out and did that press conference right after the 47% tape came out, he said it wasn't eloquently stated. he said it was off the cuff. he came nowhere near saying it was wrong and i apologize for it. three weeks on, he's apologizing. what's fascinating, andrea, i would bet a lot of money which in my world isn't all that much, but say i would bet $5 that mitt romney had the line he used with sean hannity ready to use in the debate when he, of course, expected barack obama would attack him in some way, shape, or form on the 47% comment. barack obama never did so, which i continue to find baffling strategically, but mitt romney i think wanted to get it out there in the air before october 16th and the next debate. my guess what he'll do, when barack obama almost assuredly attacks him in the october 16th debate he will say that's old news, i've apologized for it,
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made a mistake, an interesting way, barack obama allowed mitt romney to frame it the way he wants which is clearly a damaging moment for mitt romney's campaign, he's trying to move beyond it, and i think this is his attempt to do so, though, my guess is barack obama will not let this apology be the last word on it. >> and also get ahead of it before the vice presidential debate because you know joe biden was going to go after it. still inexplicable why the president didn't use it wednesday night. thank you so much, chris. see you later. joining me now to dig deeper into the jobs data, u.s. economic economist for the president. >> definitely good news in the context of all the bad news in recent months. the headline growth of employment of 114,000 was good but not spectacular. if you dig deeper you find they revised up prior months so running around 150,000 per month, somewhat better not indicative of a economy going into recession, perhaps one getting a little tail wind to
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it. the drop in the unemployment rate from 8.1% to 7.8%, as you know, sometimes it drons for the wrong reason because people give up looking for work. that was not the case in september, 800,000 people by this measure of employment found jobs, one of the largest increases by that measure in the last eight or nine years. >> mitt romney went after this on the stump today in virginia saying that more people were giving up and that the number of -- the unemployment number would be 11% if all the people who had given up had come back in. that's probably an accurate number but the point is that this month at least, in these data, it showed that people are not giving up, they're coming back into the work force. >> that's true. if you look in the last year, the proportion of people who want to work or looking to work has gone down, but it did go up in the last month. i think that's important because in the last month or two we've seen sentiment indicators not just the stock market but surveys of confidence that people starting to feel a little better. maybe there is something out there happening on the ground that the data only now is just picking up. >> manufacturing has been a weak
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spot. continues to be? >> yes. it fell again in the month of september. and we know that also from other surveys of factory activity. up couple things going on here, europe is still in recession, china is slowing down and most of all the fiscal cliff. from what companies are saying they're reluctant to make big investments because they don't know if they sell to the federal government whether that customer will be around in january. they hear we might have a recession. the politicians can't agree on moving the cliff. we need to be cautious extrapolating september's good news to the rest of the year. >> and from that perspective, the $64,000 political question is, what about that jobs number that is going to come out on the friday before election day? >> it's -- >> the last news people will get. >> the flip of the coin. we don't know what's going to happen. this number surprised many ways. the number that came out a month ago -- >> which was weak. >> was very weak. don't know how it's going to cut. most people's impressions of the economy, irrespective of what they hear the day before, are more or less fixed.
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nice headline to see the unemployment rate go down, but most people are looking around themselves and their communities to see if they feel better. a lot of sort of talk, a lot of smoke but i don't think it's going to fundamentally change the result. >> one quick question about gasoline, because we've seen in california, maybe that's a leading indicator, has to do with the peculiar mix of state regulations, environmental regulations on gasoline refining, but that bump up is that going to be something that affects people in the pocketbook and affects the way they feel if we're seeing a surge in gasoline prices? >> definitely. a rise in gasoline prices is like a tax increase. however, what we've seen in this jobs report people are not only getting jobs, they're getting wage increases again. short-term trend, just the last month, but if that keeps up, and that should be more than enough to deal with some of the pockets of pressure you get from things like gasoline prices. >> greg, thank you. it's great to always have you here on jobs day in particular. both campaigns, of course, are weighing in. we've seen the president and mitt romney today. joining me now to discuss today's report from the obama
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administration's perspective, roger altman, chairman of evercore partner, now a supporter of the obama campaign joining us from seattle. great to see you. first of all the jobs number and the view from wall street of this, this economy kind of bumping along on the basement, but is it really a turn around at this stage? >> well, today's numbers are just good across the board. as greg gibbs said, not only did we add jobs, but the work week expanded and incomes expanded. and i think it shows that the president's economic policies are working. we've now had 31 straight months of private sector job growth, that's 5.2 million jobs. and we're moving in the right direction. and changing course now to go back to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place doesn't make any sense at all. >> you've been through a lot of presidential debates, you've
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watched them in the past, you were involved with the hillary clinton campaign last time around and this time, of course, with president obama. let's talk about the president obama who showed up. who was that man who showed up on that stage wednesday night? and why didn't he, with plenty of room to maneuver, why didn't he go after mitt romney on taxes, and deficits and the accounting line? just seemed that there were so many opportunities that were missed that night. >> i don't think it was the president's best night, but i think one of the other big things that happened that night was the -- astonishing walking away or effort to walk away by governor romney of some of the most -- some of the key proposals he's been making for 18 straight months. you know, on the central issue of taxes, he's been saying every day for 18 months that he wants a 20% cut in marginal tax rates and he'll figure out a way that won't increase the deficit. well there's only one way to
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make that happen, that is to raise the tax burden on middle income americans. the number on his tax cut is $5 trillion. because he's talking about a 20% cut in marginal rates, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, estate tax and other deductions, $480 billion a year, $5 trillion over ten years, that's the number. then he says, you know, every day for the last 18 months, i've been talking about repealing every aspect of obama care, but actually i didn't mean it. well it's too late for that. if you repeal obama care across the board, that means that kids can no longer stay on their parents' coverage through age 26, it means that we can go back to a system of denying coverage for preexisting conditions, it means that seniors again are back on to co-pays larger co-pays as it relates to prescription drugs, and on dodd/frank, he's been saying he wants to repeal dodd/frank,
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andrea, every day for the last 18 months, repeal every aspect of it. dodd/frank of course is the bill that reregulated the financial system after the credit market collapsed, the catastrophic collapse of 2008. so does anybody really want to say let's get rid of all the regulation we put in place following that disastrous collapse? romney is saying i don't mean all of that. it doesn't work. it's too late. >> going back to your point on taxes, though, he is now saying that he would eliminate enough deductions to make up for the tax cuts that it would be revenue neutral. >> two points on that -- >> he's not been specific. you know, i've made that point as well in my reporting. but if he really means that he would make it revenue neutral, then he's not talking about blowing a hole in the deficit. >> womell, it just is impossibl. apparently his campaign has floated this idea of a $17,000 cap on deductions per
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individual. first of all it's too late to do that. he's been talking about this 20% marginal tax cut, $5 trillion cut, be every single day of his whole campaign. but even if you took that $17,000 cap on deductions, it's not enough to avoid raising the burds on the middle class. if you do some math on for just mortgages and how big a mortgage you might have to have, especially if you haven't been able to refinance it to get up to $17,000 of deductions just on the mortgage interest, let alone other things like state and local taxes, that doesn't avoid raising the tax burden on the middle class. even this latest adjustment to his plan, and i think the main point is it's too late, wouldn't avoid raising taxes on the middle class. fundamentally, we know what romney has -- we know what romney stands for. he's been talking about it for 18 straight months every single day. he's been very clear on what he wants on taxes, on obama care, on dodd/frank and by the way what he wants on medicare.
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you know, the voucher plan. that's what it is. it also capped the voucher amount. there's no question that that would increase -- >> in all fairness that was the initial ryan plan and has been revised since. i want to ask you about simpson-bowles, speaking of things too late, the president suggested one of the big differences between him and mitt romney was simpson-bowles, yet if you talk to any of the principles involved they were extremely disappointed as are many of your colleagues on wall street and big business that the president did not affirmatively embrace the outlines of simps simpson-bowles strojly. let them leave that rose garden with a pat on the back and did not fully endorse it and stopped it cold on the hill. >> andrea, you know, i have great admiration for alan simpson and ear skin bowles, they've done fantastic work for this country on this issue in raising public consciousness about it, but i know there's a great affection in many parts of
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the country like the business community for simpson-bowles but if you study simpson-bowles, it requires quite sweeping tax reform in the area of deductions, for example, in order to achieve its own decreases in marginal rates which, of course, is a hallmark of simpson-bowles. i think it's quite unlikely if we think about how we're going to solve the fiscal cliff, that we're going to have either the appetite or the time to do the type of sweeping tax reform which historically has take an year or two or three, think about the '86 tax act, which simpson-bowles calls for. i don't think that's going to be the solution to the fiscal cliff and i don't think it's there for what we're going to do. >> well, we've got to go, but thank you very much. always good to see you, roger. >> same here. thanks a lot. >> up next hear from the romney campaign responding to the latest jobs report with douglas. plus with just over a month to
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go, could the jobless numbers impact the race? this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. hahahaha! hooohooo, hahaha! this is awesome! folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico sure are happy. i'd say happier than a slinky on an escalator. get happy. get geico. melons!!! oh yeah!! well that was uncalled for. folks who save hundreds of dollars switching to geico sure are happy. how happy, ronny? happier than gallagher at a farmers' market. get happy. get geico. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company.
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the romney campaign is downplaying the drop in the jobless rates saying it's not a sign of real recovery. douglas is a former economic adviser to the 2008 mccain campaign and romney supporter and former government official. the cbo as well. let's talk about this jobs number today. good news in general. what is your take looking deeper into the numbers? >> most people look at the top line number as 114,000 jobs created, unemployment rate 7.8%. inside the report there are more news and in particular the drop in the unemployment rate comes from the fact that when they went door to door and asked
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people do you have a job, are you unemployed they got back answers that suggested we created 8937,000 jobs last month. there's no way that's right. it's a statistical mirage. >> going to be revised? >> almost certainly will go away. throw that out and you have a picture that looks like the reports in recent months, enough jobs created to sort of barely keep up with population growth, some increase in earnings, increase in -- >> revisions in the last two months, upwards. the summer was not as weak as we thought. >> we're not getting 200,000 jobs. we have a labor force participation rate that are 1981 levels. it's not a report that you want to celebrate. it's not a report that says we're falling off a cliff either. more hum drum economic news. >> mitt romney was saying the participation rate was bad but this month the participation rate is good. more people are coming back in, less discouraged than before. >> we got a tenth of a percentage point tickup in the participation rate. good news.
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i wouldn't dance. i think this is the situation the u.s. finds itself in. every time we see things go up it's from very low levels. we have to get people back to work and economy running at a higher level. >> what about mitt romney's big message from the debate which is that he says that there is not a $5 trillion tax cut, which was roger altman just on the show and a lot of our fact checking shows it does add up to $5 trillion, what he's proposed including the 20% cuts that he's talking about, at the same time he's now saying that deductions will be eliminated and make up for it so it's revenue neutral but won't specify which deductions. doesn't he owe it to the american people to say is it the mortgage deduction, charitable deduction, how will you get enough eliminated to make up for that hole? >> let me say three things. first on the $5 trillion stephanie cutter herself said yeah, it's not really $5 trillion because we haven't acknowledged he's going to broaden the base. that top line number really is a suspect number.
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the second thing is there now have been as you know a variety of competing studies, some liberal organizations say, hey, here's a tax reform that meets his specifications you have to raise taxes on the middle class. >> you really don't have five or six conservative ones, heritage and ai but others are editorial boards not real studies from what i've seen. >> harvard university is pretty serious place. it can be done. now, that's fair, we have some that say can be done -- >> some nonpartisan. >> and then the candidate himself and which ones he got and there we have a great example of why not fill in the details, that's the president himself, said, we want to get the corporate rate down to 28% but not going to specify how you broad than base because when questi when we go to capitol hill we want to negotiate. that's exactly the same tactic governor romney has proposed and i think it's just not a position of strength for the president to be pointing his finger. >> what about these negotiations on the fiscal -- averting the
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fiscal cliff? do you think that anything seriously can be done during the lame-duck session to give the business community some confidence that there will be some reason to invest to hire? >> let's just be very clear if we go over the fiscal cliff it's a serious recession and i believe it will be irresponsible to voluntarily go into recession. >> and say to the republican leaders and democratic be leaders -- >> both sides. >> hands have been tied particularly by tea party advocates, a lot of those freshmen not willing to give at all on taxes. you have to give something on the tax side, on the revenue side, as well as the spending side and, obviously, entitlements. >> on the politics democrats in charge of the white house and senate and at least equally if not more responsible for the outcome so i take that with a grain of salt. here's the important thing, there are two different issues. issue one how do we get from now to the spring of 2013 without having a recession. the best way to do it is extend current policy and not have a
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sharp increase in taxes. the second issue which must be dealt with regardless of who's in the seats next year, an be enormous debt that's exploding. that's where there has to be an adult conversation about the future of entitlement spending, democrats unwilling to touch that, the revenue situation in the united states, that's been the touch point for republicans. we have to have the conversation. there's no way around it. >> understood. thank you so much. always good to see you. up next the politico briefing inside romney's post-debate strategy. stay with us. rates side by side so you get the same coverage, often for less. that's one smart board. what else does it do, reverse gravity? [ laughs ] [ laughs ] [ whooshing ] tell me about it. why am i not going anywhere? you don't believe hard enough. a smarter way to shop around. now that's progressive. call or click today. [ grunting ]
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in today's politico briefing the reinvention of mitt romney. jonathan martin joins me now. let's talk about -- >> hi, andrea. >> mitt romney or at least he is clearly moderating a lot of what he has said, the tone is different, the words are different, you hear empathy, caring. >> right. >> talking about the suffering of the american business. >> middle class, income. >> softer mitt romney and don't hear outcries from the conservative right. they want to win.
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>> i've been so struck about how muted the response has been, not just after the debate, but even going back to where governor romney told nbc's ron allen that his state health care plan showed his empathy. that's the kind of thing that would typically drive conservatives crazy who don't believe using government is a way of showing empathy. andrea i was struck and i'm sure you were too, how many times did romney say that he was not trying to push some big tax cut plan. i mean, jack kemp must be spinning in his grave, the orthodox in the republican party has been that big tax cuts, especially for high earners, lead to economic growth. you saw romney try to move away from that view and i think it's because the obama campaign has defined the romney tax cut plan as a budget buster and as largely as a [ inaudible ] to the rich. romney is trying to move away from that and focus on what he
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will do for the middle class. but you're talking about not just that, andrea, but also talking about dodd/frank and there are some parts of the wall street regulation bill he likes. you're really seeing a more moderate version of romney as he's trying to appeal to suburban swing voters here in the final weeks. >> and speaking of suburban swing voters, both candidates were in virginia. >> yep. >> and virginia is critically important, you know that state so well. >> yeah. >> what are you seeing in virginia and what is the outlook in ohio and wisconsin and iowa when we talk about how romney goes ahead using whatever bounce he gets out of this debate? >> i think you're going to see the polls close in virginia. i think right now president obama has a very narrow advantage, largely because of the gender gap that exists but i think it's going to close to less than five points if it's not there already. ohio is the big story here as you know. that's the challenge for governor romney. it's pulling. >> a closer place in ohio.
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it seems unlikely -- i talked to some senior romney campaign folks about this. it's very unlikely he will ever pull out of ohio. they have the money, the outside groups have lots of money. he's never going to leave ohio 37 but, it seems very difficult for him right now to get closer in that state. if you don't win ohio, as you know, andrea, you've got to win wisconsin, iowa, and keep those western states. it's a very narrow path if you don't have ohio. and right now, romney is down there by at least five points or so. >> jonathan martin, thank you so much. good to see you. >> thank you, andrea. >> up next, former bush speechwriter michael gerson on the new mitt romney and send me your thoughts on facebook and twitter @mitchellreports. this is "andrea mitchell reports." check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory.
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topping the headlines on "andrea mitchell reports" secretary of homeland security janet napolitano has arrived in
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arizona to meet with the family of slain border patrol agent nicolas ivy. investigators are looking at the possibility he was killed by friendly fire or tuesday. a new york man was killed after he opened fire in a seaside hotel. he had been fired in a company that provides tourists from internships. american airlines grounded boeing 747s to fix seats that might pop loose. the airline says a combination of poor design and overuse have caused the seats to pop out of their tracks. and pain at the pumps for california drivers today, they woke up to a 20 cent spike in gas prices with the average $4.49 a gallon. that spike is blamed on a shortage caused by refinery problems. and siren war planes are pounding the central city of homs with air strikes and tank and mortar shelling. activists say it was the heaviest assault in months.
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meanwhile more trouble ahead, the u.n. security council has condemned the syrian -- have related again. another cross boarder raid according to the wires. we will stay on top of that. michael gerson is here, former white house speechwriter who helped prepare george w. debates for 2000 and 2004. he joins us monday for a predate debate chat and we invited him back to talk post-debate. as a republican and watching this, you did not -- could not have predicted looking back at what we all anticipated would happen, we did not anticipate mitt romney would come to play and president obama would fail to show up. >> it was a big moment for romney. there will be a lot more big moments in this campaign. this is only -- >> only another month to go. >> that's true. but i do think two lasting things were accomplished by romney. one of them is just to buck up
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his own conservative and republican support. they saw someone they can be enthusiastic about and they had weren't seen that for -- hadn't seen that for quite a while. undermined the stereotype from the negative advertising, supposed to be a monster and 60 some million tuned in and didn't see a monster. that's good for romney in the long term. just the start. >> as someone who's been involved twice in two campaign cycles with george w. bush how in preparing a candidate how do you tell someone to keep looking down at their notes and not be aware of the split screen in take us behind the scenes at what goes on in debate prep? and why the president was not ever looking at either his opponent or at the viewer directly into the camera? >> it's a challenge. first of all it's hard to prep the president of the united states. there's the office, a difficult thing. not like prepping a candidate. >> was it hard to prep george w. bush? >> not so much. but i saw the same dynamic in
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2004. probl president bush had not been debating in the primaries. thought he knew all the issues. he's dealing with them every day. didn't know how to frame the attack, frame the defense and he didn't do that well in his first debate with john kerry. i think exactly the same thing here. with obama sitting in those meetings saying i know this stuff, i deal with it all the time, but he hadn't been forced in a debate setting to say these are the offensive argument, defensive arguments these are the three points i want to make and i think that was part of his problem. >> i think one of sort of malpractice moments, the most obvious was the two-minute closing statement. you're a speechwriter, you're a columnist now, you prepare presidents. how does he not have a narrative? we talk about narratives and it becomes slangy, but telling a story, with a start, middle and end and he had a two-minute closer that sounded as chris mathews said, memorably, sounded like a concession speech. you know, i'm not a perfect man, i've made mistakes, i'm sure
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mitt romney would say i've made mistakes how is that the opening line of your two-minute closer? >> yeah. >> that he carried into the closing statement. i don't think that -- i think that was lacking in the rest of the performance for the president. >> the other thing i noted about romney, not just his affect, because as tough as he was, he was polite and smiling, if you're looking at it with the sound turned off, one man looked happy and smiling and almost reagan-like in his demeanor, and the other man looked tense and not happy to be there, reluctant to be there. romney used words talked about empathy, suffering, caring, he cited examples, the teacher in las vegas. that really seemed to be trying to fix the 47% problem. >> i agree with that. he didn't get asked the 47% problem but his whole
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performance was an attempt to answer it in a certain way. he did talk about empathy and smartly in ohio and in missouri and in a lot of -- >> nevada. >> and other states and nevada and other places. you know, i think it showed -- the kind of craft that didn't show which is good. he had practiced so much and internalized and mastered that argument so much, that, in fact, it came across fairly effortlessly and that i think is the best kind of debate performance. the president is going to have to adjust to that in the next round. >> michael gerson, great to have you. >> great to be with you. >> today's jobs numbers going to affect the momentum in battleground states. we'll talk about that next coming up on "andrea mitchell reports." [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪
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we can help. call unitedhealthcare to learn about medicare plans that may be right for you. call now. ♪ mitt romney's step back from some core conservative values has been stumping some on the trail because it has worked in his favor. joining me now, msnbc's senior political analyst mark halperin and "usa today" washington
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bureau chief susan page and columnist for "the washington post" uveen robinson. welcome all. first to mark halperin, the move to the center there's no complaint from conservatives, is it, so eager to defeat president obama they say anything that works is okay with them? >> well, romney has had as you know a troubled relationship with certain elements of the right, even after he picked paul ryan there was a brief honeymoon period there, people held their tongue for a while but the criticism started again. i think certainly the conventional wisdom amongst the chattering class now the debate performance will quiet critics on the right and get away with saying things moving to the center. the two things, one, it's being overstated how much he's changing positions or even rhetoric from some of the things he's previously said for good or ill but i don't see the cosmic switch to the center as much as others do and the other thing, if he has a bad debate in two weeks i'm not sure the right will be silenced through election day. he has a tentative hold there just as he does on the new
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romney theme that is helping him right now. >> on one thing he certainly has changed and that's the 47%, susan page. >> amazing. maybe this is why president obama didn't raise it at the debate, because they -- i don't know this, possibly he would clearly have some kind of a response. you would give it the greatest possible play by asking about it in the debate and so they avoided doing that. do you think that's true. >> i really don't. i can't figure it out. i mean what -- i was told they were so concerned that he not appear angry and mean and that he didn't want to be too aggressive, so sort of playing this prevent defense deal, and that they were doing enough damage to mitt romney eugene on 47% in their paid advertisements. >> however does playing prevent defense work. >> never. >> it doesn't ever work. you should play your regular defense and go after the quarterback. and that's what the president didn't do. i think that was a flawed strategy if that was a strategy,
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which we've also heard. and two, you got to question the preparation. i mean, because just seemed to be moment after moment, where romney left an opening that obama never went for. contradiction, you know, directly contradicting something he said earlier. never went for it. >> and mark halperin, what congresswoman deget said yesterday when i was interviewing her in colorado, why did he not bring up the women's issues. tell me that. >> i mean, i think there's a range of things where the president's campaign surrogates and advertising and messaging and sometimes the president himself certainly the vice president have been strong where the president just didn't go there in the debate. i can't explain that except it seems like both david axelrod on the record and based on my conversations and the president's performance, it seemed like he just wanted to take what was presented whatever topic either jim herrer or governor romney brought up
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that's where the president was going to play defense and push back. he did not try to turn anything. i can't really explain why he didn't but it certainly didn't serve him well. there's a reason they've driven women's issue and the 47% and done it feb tifkly, why he thought the debate wasn't the place to drive those, i do not know. >> david brooks column in "the new york times" says that on wednesday night romney finally emerged from the fog, broke with the stereotypes of his party and long last began the process of offering a more authentic version of himself. susan? >> 34 days before the election. talk about waiting until the last minute to do so. you know, one of the things he did, mark made the point that maybe the move to the center wasn't quite as stark as some people are portraying it. wasn't this the tonal change we thought we would see last spring when he clenched -- >> where was the pivot. >> we kept waiting for which did not come until the first debate and now, of course, time very late, maybe he can build on this momentum.
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i know that they hope he can. >> andrea -- >> yes, go ahead, mark. >> i agree there's tonal shift. i'm saying the issue positions i don't think are changed starkly and keep in mind what did he do yesterday besides rally in virginia? went to a cpac meeting in colorado, got the nra endorsement and interview with sean hannity in fox. if there's a pivot to the center as not unidirectional. >> also on fox that he said that he was completely wrong about the 47%, so he has taken that opportunity to now not only say it was ineloquent and didn't phrase it right but didn't mean any of it. >> i have to assume he was prepared to do that at the debate and so i actually kind of -- >> question that was not asked. >> maybe they wanted to stay away from that and not give him the opportunity before 67 million people to take it back. let him take it back in a smaller audience. i thought -- i actually thought the most important thing for romney was the -- was the humor and the fact that he didn't come
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across as being mean and -- >> or robotic. >> or robotic, right. well, now, maybe slightly robotic, but not -- but not the certain anger and edge that he's gotten in -- >> like with the rick perry debates. >> exactly. other debates. that has helped the obama administration and the obama campaign define him and i think he pushed back against that with the humor. >> let me look forward and ask you, mark halperin, what do you anticipate coming up now? next week we've got the two vice presidents -- the vice president and his challenger paul ryan there and how about the town hall format for barack obama? the conventional wisdom has been because everybody has bill clinton in their mind that the democrat, president obama, will do better in the town hall relating and empathizing and showing he connects to people. i'm not so sure about this president. >> well, i'm not so sure, although both of them will be -- i think the strongest mitt
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romney has been in my experience as a presidential candidate on the debate the other night was the events he did in both cycles last campaign in 2008 and this one, his so-called ask mitt anything events where he did take questions from people. he showed humor and the kind of fluidness and personality that he showed in the depate ba in those events and people that think this format clearly favors the president i don't think are right. >> but you know, one advantage that mitt romney won't have, barack obama will not be unprepared for the second debate the way he was for the first one. he's a competitive guy, we know he wants to win this election, he's smart. i have to believe he is going to focus and prepare in a way he did not the first time around. >> and frankly a low bar for the president next time because he just has to be aggressive, right? that's what he wasn't in this debate. i think he can easily meet or exceed expectations just by, you know, i don't know, five-hour energy or something before he goes out there. >> thank you very much. it's great to see you, eugene,
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susan, mark halperin, thank you, my friend. and if you noticed a little more pink than usual in last night's game between the cardinals and rams because october is breast cancer awareness month and game and rams it's because it's breast cancer warns month. they're doing their part with a campaign to promote prevention calmed a crucial catch. thanks to tanya schneider and other women in the nfl family. all along this month you see players, coaches, owners and referees wearing pink. this is to remind women 40 and old how important it is. get your screenings every year. catch breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage. it worked for me and it can work for you. there's more online at this campaign at nfl.com/pink. for the spender who needs a little help saving.
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which political story will make headlines in the 24 hours.
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chris is back with us. hey, chris, we're talking about campaigning, both sides. this is a barnstorming weekend. >> the one i'm looking at, andrea, because i think he'll try to build momentum. maybe got a little with the jobs report, but mitt romney out of the debate talked about how well he thinks he did and how poorly he thinks president obama did, headed to florida over the weekend. this isn't just an absolutely critical states. if you circumstance two states, mitt romney has to have florida and ohio right up there, andrea. i think florida more likely for mitt romney than ohio, but this is a state he has got to win. we're not entirely sure he will. polling suggests it's close. i'm interested in polls that come out early next week. let's see if there is a debate influence. maybe whether the jobs report, which had, i think, some good news for barack obama. maybe that takes the romney debate bump away or not.
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but he is spending several days in florida not by accident. he has to win here. >> especially since they're not doing as well as they hoped to do in ohio. there's the other debate, and i'm not talking about the vice presidential match-up next week. i am talking about jon stewart versus bill o'reilly saturday night for charity here in d.c. >> people said they're looking forward to the vice presidential debate. if you're looking for a debate with the most fireworks between now and the election, bill o'reilly and jon stewart. i've been watching the jon stewart clips from "the daily show" with stephen colbert warming up in training jon stewart for this debate. you know, in truth my guess is it will be less jokey and more serious than many of us are expecting. jon stewart is often in these settings a serious policy-minded thinker. i think o'reilly will take that approach. like we talked about before the presidential debate, it may be less fireworks than we think but
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a serious policy discussion. we will stay tuned in. >> i think it's going to be seriously funny, so there you go. we'll see on monday. that does it for us for this week for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." remember to follow the show online and at twitter. my colleague has a look at what's next on "news nation." hi tamron. >> beautiful scarf for a great cause as well. thank you so much. in our next hour we're following breaking news on the newest conspiracy over the surprising jobs report. some obama administration critics are saying that the books were cooked. the secretary of labor is calling that accusation an insult. why a drop in unemployment to the lowest since january 2009 is seen as bad news by some. zachary care bell from "the daily beast" joins us and john from american cross roads is part of the panel, too. plus, what the president and mitt romney are saying about the jobs report and how it could impact the race at this point. we've got a gut economic question. do you think the numbers really raise president obama's debate
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